With the rise of digital technology, particularly social media, terrorist groups have gained a valuable new tool for furthering their goals. Terrorist propaganda, for the purposes of this brief, is defined as any video, picture, post, or any other form of media posted to the internet to further the cause of the terrorist organization, such as recruitment or communication with followers around the world. The manipulation of technology by non-state actors is not a new phenomenon; however, social media and other new digital technologies have proven a valuable resource for many terrorist organizations. Not only have terrorist groups been adept in using new technologies such as Twitter, Bitcoin, and small drone aircraft, but the use of new technologies has also fundamentally changed their methods of operation . This issue leads us to ask how the interaction between terrorist groups and emerging digital technologies has created challenges in the counter-terrorism landscape of the twenty-first century? In this brief, we specifically address these three questions: (1) how have terrorist groups used social media to further their causes, (2) how has the use of social media changed the operating nature of these groups, and (3) what are governments doing to protect against it? We also suggest policy to counter this emerging threat.
Balk, Jan; Clarke, Benjamin; and Stembler, Charles
"The Use of Social Media by Terrorists,"
Student Papers in Public Policy: Vol. 3
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/sppp/vol3/iss1/1